The Trailblazer: How Chef Billy Littlejohn Created a Hyperlocal Menu on a Faraway Island


It is in some of these abandoned flower farms that market gardens are now sprouting, and they have a small but significant impact on life here. As well as providing jobs and supplying restaurants, locals and independent tourists, they help raise cooking standards and spur creativity, with chefs now sprucing up plates with edible flower here and micro toppings. herbs there and composing the flavors with picked products. In short, food platters have never looked so good in Scilly.

Encouraged by customer feedback and supported by the success of producers, Littlejohn and his team have developed a series of ‘one mile’ dishes that take local consumption to a whole new level on this island, which measures just 6 square miles. . These dishes are on the menu which changes daily and are currently the bestselling. Guests can’t resist the hyperlocal, freshly picked veggies or fish caught earlier in the day in the crystal-clear waters nearby. “It’s straight out of the ground or out of the sea and onto the plate, so what’s better than that?” Littlejohn explains.

The mile and a half dishes include entrees such as mackerel, pickled cucumber with turnip salad, spring onions and dill oil, as well as crab caught by Star Castle, radishes, salicornia and crab bisque. Main dishes can include local catfish with crab mashed potatoes, asparagus, seared scallops, wild garlic mash and antiboise sauce, as well as local scallop with parsnip mash. , tender potatoes, wilted spinach, lobster and a virgin sauce. And the desserts include a plate of Scillonian strawberries – strawberry soup, strawberry mousse and eton mess.

Star Castle Hotel owner Robert Francis often catches the fish himself – heading out to sea whenever he needs to empty his lobster pots, scoop up enough crab or catch scallops, mackerel and turbot. Francis is also responsible for creating Britain’s southernmost vineyard, having planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and some Pinot Gris in a sheltered location a short walk from the chateau in 2003. The Holy Vale Vineyard Chardonnay The recently released 2019 Pinot Gris is his best wine yet. – brimming with apple freshness, with a pleasant salty seam and a honeydew melon finish that is an exciting match for Scilly’s famous sweet and strained lobster, the pairing enjoyed by cellar guests with the lobster lunch “A mile” of Littlejohn, transported from his kitchen by electric buggy and eaten on the terrace by the vineyards after a tour and tasting.


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